Trump on Mexico Trade: 'May Have Something Worked Out'

Friday, 27 Jul, 2018

Canada has requested a NAFTA Chapter 20 review of the safeguard tariffs imposed by the U.S. on imports of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules, it was announced on Monday.

According to statements made by Mexico's new foreign minister, incoming Mexican President Lopez Obrador received a letter from US President Donald Trump, which outlined a press for quick NAFTA renegotiations.

The North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation has been on hold since late spring because of the July 1 Mexican presidential election that will see Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sworn in this coming December.

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer is hosting Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo as well as Jesus Seade, who will represent the incoming Lopez Obrador administration.

The NAFTA challenge comes as the three countries take a pause from renegotiating the pact, and as Mexico and Canada fight back against punishing USA tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. Ms. Freeland will also meet with Mr. Guajardo and Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray Caso.

His administration also announced up to US$12-billion in emergency aid for American farmers hurt by his trade wars - money to ease the pain of retaliatory tariffs imposed by jurisdictions from China to Canada to the European Union.

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In February three Canadian solar panel manufacturers lodged litigation against the American government over the solar cell imports.

In the letter published Tuesday, Trump said he thought a NAFTA deal would lead to more jobs and higher wages on both sides of the border, "but only if it can go quickly, because otherwise I must go a much different route", he wrote.

Trump last week repeated his threat to pursue individual deals with Mexico and Canada, and the three nations still remain far apart on major points nearly a year after the negotiations first began.

It was a response to a letter Lopez Obrador sent to Trump via a delegation of senior USA officials that visited him in Mexico City on July 13. But Paris said he found it "striking" that the runaway second-place result - at 16 per cent - was the "United States (and) Canada's proximity to the U.S". As the voice of the region's business community, The New England Council believes it is of critical importance that the US continue to work toward a modernized NAFTA, and that the administration should reconsider the tariffs against our partners in Canada and Mexico.

The research was conducted between February and April and included eight focus groups and a telephone poll of more than 1,500 respondents.